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We Couldn't Play Behind Closed Doors Says Whitby Chief

We Couldn't Play Behind Closed Doors Says Whitby Chief

Published by Yorkshire Coast Radio News at 9:39am 25th May 2020. (Updated at 10:44pm 25th May 2020)

While the Premier League looks set to complete their season in empty stadia, Whitby Town's chief executive believes it would have serious consequences if non-League clubs were forced to do the same.

Graeme Hinchliffe told Yorkshire Coast Radio:

"I can't see, at this level, how they could allow the league to start the season without spectators.

"We are not- as a football club- in a position to play matches behind closed doors- that would be a serious financial problem for our club."

The Blues supremo says the Northern Premier League are in touch regularly but have given no indication as to when the new season can start and in what form it will take:

"They are waiting for government directives and FA directives.

"We do get regular contact from them but they have no proper indication yet on when the league will start.

"I heard it could be as late as October, but that's just a guess."

Graeme admitted that uncertainty is making it hard to plan but preparations continue for the 2020/21 campaign:

"Every player has a training plan to keep and Chris [Hardy], the team and myself are contacting players on a regular basis.

"We've recently had three or four key signings which we're going to fully announce in the next few weeks."

Local people and many all over the world have helped the Blues raise over £10,000 to try and cover costs during the pandemic.

Graeme reveals why this is needed:

"What we're trying to do is cover the missing funds we missed out on from the last six home games of last season", he said.

"We're also going to be short of funds from events in the summer.

"We have the Gala Day which has now gone and pre-season friendlies which are now up in the air.

"We have a big gap in terms of income streams and we have the bar that is no longer open."

Despite the suspension of football at the Towbar Express Stadium, there's been plenty going on, with General Manager Lee Bullock even calling season ticket holders and regular supporters to check how they are:

"It's difficult as a lot of our fans don't use social media- they're an older group." Graeme admits.

"We're doing quite a bit of selling old kit and memorabilia.

"Lots of people are donating products we can sell online- we've had Sunderland shirts, Whitby Town shirts from the past.

"We've had people from as far away as Canada buying shirts- it's a great effort from [chairman] Eddie McNamee and his team around him and I can't thank the local community of Whitby enough who have really stepped up to the mark and keep ringing to say what can we do to help."

Full interview with Andrew Snaith:

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